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The Unmet need in Cancer Genetic Services: conducting an environmental scan of the cancer genetics services in an Irish context

14 Apr 2021

underpinned by a mixed methods approach

People at a higher risk of cancer due to their family history are having to wait over two years for tests due to “overstretched” services, a new report has found.

Up to 1 in 10 cancers are caused by inherited faulty genes. Genetic testing is an important tool in helping people to understand their risk for certain types of cancer including breast, bowel and ovarian cancers, which combined claim over 3,000 lives in Ireland each year.

Not knowing whether a family history of cancer puts them at a higher risk of developing the disease in the future can be a cause of great anxiety and stress for people. Having early access to genetic testing gives these people options and the chance of preventive treatment to reduce the possibility of ever receiving a cancer diagnosis.

However, a new report prepared for the Irish Cancer Society by health researchers at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork (UCC) has found that many patients and healthcare professionals believe cancer genetic services in Ireland are under-resourced, with some people waiting over two years for testing and counselling.

The full report and recommendations are available on the Irish Cancer Society website

 Hegarty J., Egan S., Jones M.M., Odisigo C., O’Flaherty S.J., Chakraborty S., O’Reilly D., & Saab M.M. (2021). The unmet need in cancer genetic services: conducting an environmental scan of the cancer genetics services in an Irish context underpinned by a mixed methods approach- Report prepared for the Irish Cancer Society, Ireland.

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais

Brookfield Health Sciences Complex College Road Cork, Ireland , T12 AK54

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